Cardiac Experience Journal (USA)


The Cardiac Experience Journal is a psychoeducational intervention based on a narrative model involving the sharing of personal stories about paediatric cardiac illness. This takes the form of a collection of personal experiences from children, parents, and health care professionals, presented in the form of stories, pictures, and video clips. The site represents the "collective wisdom" of these contributors. All contributions have been reviewed for appropriateness by a group of parents and health care providers and the site is continuously evolving as new contributions are added. The site is designed to promote the healthy coping of children and their families. You can browse through the four main sections and multiple subsections in any order.

Service URL:
Agency Responsible:
Department of Psychiatry, Children's Hospital Boston.


Intervention Type:
Educational (primarily educational material or psychoeducation). Utilises narrative therapy
Course Length:
Long (more than 5 modules). Comprises four main sections and multiple subsections
Support Option:
No support.

Target Audience

Primary Category:
Physical Health. Specifically to help with paediatric cardiac illness
Secondary Category:
Target Audience:
Child. Designed for children with cardiac illness and their families


Open: No registration required.
Contact Details:

Research evidence

Research Trials:
Research RCTs:
Outcome Summary:

An uncontrolled study with mothers of children hospitalised for cardiac disease showed that the Cardiac Experience Journal was safe and beneficial. Mothers found the site useful for decreasing social isolation, increasing understanding of familial feelings about cardiac illness, and increasing hopefulness. It was also useful in expanding their perspective, increasing their understanding of their own child and feelings about their child's heart disease, and improving communication regarding heart disease. All of these factors have been identified as important in successfully navigating medical crises. The Experience Journal was less useful in helping mothers understand their child's specific cardiac illness, but this was not surprising given that the site is not intended as a source of factual information and focuses primarily on personal experiences.

Recommended rating, reviewer 1:

There is evidence that the site might work. More conclusive studies are needed.
Recommended rating, reviewer 2:

There is evidence that the site might work. More conclusive studies are needed.

Read more about Beacon's Smiley Rating System.

Research paper citations

Efficacy studies

  1. Demaso, D. R., Gonzalez-Heydrich, J. , Erickson, J. D., Grimes, V. P., & Strohecker, C. (2000) The Experience Journal: A Computer-Based Intervention for Families Facing Congenital Heart Disease. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 727-734.

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Last Updated: June 5th 2012